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Mercury douche for urethral therapy, Paris, France, 1840-189

Science Museum, London


Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Science Museum, London
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This mercury douche was used to treat venereal disease (VD) during the 1800s. VD is now known as STIs (sexually transmitted infections). The douche was made by French instrument maker A. Aubrey. It comes with different-sized attachments used to inject mercury into the penis or vagina. This was called urethral therapy because the medication was inserted through the urethra, the small tube carrying urine from the bladder to the reproductive organs. Mercury was often used to treat syphilis and other venereal diseases. Prolonged exposure to mercury can cause severe damage to the brain and other major organs. maker: Aubry, A. Place made: Paris, Ville de Paris, Île-de-France, France


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Mercury douche for urethral therapy, Paris, France, 1840-189. Credit: Science Museum, London. CC BY

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